Shocks, Seizures & Strokes

A Shock can occur for many reasons. Some reasons are: poisoning, burns, blood loss, heatstroke, trauma and any other serious medical accident. When a patient is Shocked it can lead to a loss of oxygenated blood to vital organs which, if untreated, can lead to organ damage or possibly death. Signs of Shock: cool and clammy skin, unconsciousness or poor responsiveness, dilated pupils and nausea.

Treatment: If the patient is unconscious call 911 immediately then perform CPR—if the patient is a child or infant perform CPR for 2 minutes and then call 911. Make sure to lay the patient down with his/her feet 12 inches above the heart. Check for C-A-B’s. You may need to put the patient on his/her side to prevent choking. Make sure to check for other injuries.

When a Seizure occurs these are signs to look for: dizziness or faintness, uncontrolled bowel movement, breathing difficulties, unconsciousness or unresponsiveness, arching of the back, clenching of things—such as teeth. If a patient is ever unconscious or unresponsive make sure to perform CPR and to call 911. Some causes of Seizures are: head injuries, fevers, brain damage, poisoning, cessation of oxygen to the brain and diabetes.

Treatment: check universal precautions, remove any life threatening objects, loosen clothing, and make sure to call 911 and respond with appropriate orders. Make sure to NOT restrain the patient unless the patient is going to be hurt or is going to hurt someone.

A Stroke occurs when there is a ruptured/blocked blood vessel in the brain. When the brain has a cessation of oxygen it begins deteriorating. If the patient falls unconscious or is unresponsive, call 911 and perform CPR immediately. It is recommended for first-aid providers to use a stroke assessment system. A System such as Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale (CPSS) is a simple tool when assessing a stroke patient. CPSS Stroke Scale:

Facial Droop
To check: ask patient to smile
Normal: patient’s cheeks move equally on both sides
Abnormal: patient's face moves unequally on both sides

Arm Drift:
To check: have patient raise arms at shoulder length for 10 seconds
Normal: both arms equally move together (another condition might occur: pronator drift)
Abnormal: arms fail to respond equally

Speech To check: ask patient a question
Normal: patient does not slur and answers correctly
Abnormal: patient is mute, using abnormal words and/or slurring

If 1 out of the 3 examinations occur there is a 72% probability of a stroke.

Risk factors are: high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, smoking and having had a prior stroke.

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